The Queen Underneath by Stacey Filak | ARC Review


THE QUEEN UNDERNEATH
BY STACEY FILAK

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: May 8th 2018

Synopsis:
The Above and the Under have a tenuous truce that is shattered after the death of both their respective rulers. Gemma, the new queen of Under, must throw history aside and team up with Tollan, the heir to the Above throne, in order to take down a power that seeks to rule them all.

Their group of rebels is comprised of an assassin, a sex worker, and a palace servant from Above, and we follow their unique perspectives as they are forced to question previously held beliefs. But even with war looming, romance still grows. Challenging gender roles and the expectation that every prince must have a princess, Tollan discovers love with Elam—a young man, a sex worker, and one of Gemma’s closest friends.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Page Street for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

I am not sure where to start with this review because I wanted to like the book so much. I was super excited when I got sent this book for review and its said to be a spin on Sleeping Beauty. I have to say I was caught off guard while reading because it is marketed as a YA, but I would say it is a little mature to be considered YA. I believe the world building fell short, I was so intrigued by the world concept and loved that the underneath was filled with assassins, thieves and prostitutes and that the above was complete opposite. I needed more. There was so much that could have been done and Filak set the stage for a world that had so much potential. The book was just too short and didn’t achieve what I felt like it could have. I felt like there could have been a ton more character development as well. I really think Filak could have made a whole series off of this concept. That being said I thought their were some great characters and really enjoyed Gemma. There were some references to Sleeping Beauty, but I am not sure I would have marketed it as a spin off. The biggest thing I had an issue with was how often the word “prick/prickling” was used. I have a huge problem with repetition of words, but I also just thought it was excessive.

I know this seems like a bash, but I did enjoy the book and was immediately pulled in within the first chapter and wanted to know what was going to happen the whole time. There were some steamy parts and times I was on the edge of my seat with the twists and turns. I really appreciated that the chapters were headed with the area in the world in which that chapter was taking place, it helped to place myself and develop the world in my head. The Queen Underneath, had some kickass characters and a strong lead female which is always nice to see! I loved the rough edges she had, but also a soft side that was super caring.

Overall I enjoy the story but the main take away is I needed more and wanted more from Filak.

 

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Phoenix Fire by SD Grimm | ARC Review

PHOENIX FIRE BY SD GRIMM

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: March 5th 2018

Synopsis: 
After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.

Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

I am not even sure where to start with this review. Let me start by saying PHOENIX !!!! This is the first book I have ever read that focused on the phoenix and I thought S.D Grimm did a good job developing a story off of the phoenix and creating this whole world and backstory for the Phoenix and their purpose in our world. Now let me also say that the phoenix was not the only mythical creature that made an appearance.

I don’t want to say much about the phoenix incorporation or backstory because you learn more throughout the whole story alongside the characters, but the whole idea of rebirth and past lives has always intrigued me. Grimm was able to slowly reveal the story and have the characters put in together piece by piece with such great detail and thought. The story was complex and had a lot of moving pieces for awhile that I was pulled even deeper in trying to figure out what had happened, what was happening and what was going to be the result.

I am not usually a huge fan of multiple POV but thought it worked so well for how this story was being told and in putting together all the pieces. Each of the characters had their strengths and weaknesses. There were quite a few times I found myself screaming at Ava and the choices she made. All the different interactions and relationships really added to the story.

Overall I enjoyed this story and the way it was written. It had me on the edge of my seat at times and had me yelling at characters at other times. I loved the fact that it revolved around the idea of this Phoenix community and would love to see more books incorporate the idea of phoenix. The world building and background development were well though out and I didn’t feel like I had a lot of questions that went unanswered which is always a plus. Grimm balanced the characters and multiple POVs so well and really drove the story forward at a nice pace. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys paranormal reads or wants to experience an interesting novel containing phoenix!

The Wonder Of You by Harper Kincaid | Book Review

The Wonder of You by Harper Kincaid

Modern Alice in Wonderland Re-telling

Releasing February 13, 2018

Add the book to Goodreads

Synopsis:

What if Alice didn’t fall down the rabbit hole, but instead, traveled through
Lincoln Tunnel into another kind of Wonderland:
New York City.

The best day of twenty-five year old Alice Leighton’s life was the day she got to put her nothing special, lil Southern town in her rear-view mirror. Good-bye to phony ‘bless your hearts’ and ‘I’ll pray for you’ crap, all while talking trash behind her back. She’s New York City’s latest addition and she’s going to work her ass off proving she earned her spot in the country’s top grad program.
Never again will she let some jerk derail her future and break her heart. Oh, and no more players. She’s D.O.N.E with the ‘cool guys’.
Getting caught up in Dare Grangeworth, the art world’s resident bad boy, was not part of her Alice 2.0 plan, even if he is just her type, with his beard, tats sleeves and intense green eyes. When he’s not dodging the press or his cultish fan base, Dare’s making art that makes a statement. Women seem to lose their heads around him – all the more reason why he finds Alice’s candor refreshing. He’s used to women giving in – not giving attitude.
He has to get to know this girl, even if it means allowing himself to be the subject of her research. Before too long, he becomes more than a simple outlier she can explain away. And for him everything starts to feel larger than life and upside down, like a heady rush, all while desperately trying not to lose his heart.
Become lost and found in this re-imagined story of Alice and her cast of characters, in a world where Wonderland meets Sex-and-the-City.

*Thank you Inkslinger PR and Harper Kincaid for the chance to read and review The Wonder of You! *

I am a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland if you didn’t already know. This book sounded interesting and different from anything I have read and I was really intrigued by it.

I still am unsure how I overall feel about this book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it didn’t include Alice in Wonderland references. It was a little cheesy and the way the words associated with Alice in Wonderland were just thrown around, threw me off a bit. I think it would have been better if the characters were described more as the Wonderland characters rather than saying things like “his Mad Hatter nonsense” . I also thought the little line and cliches that Alice said all the time were a little annoying.

I did really like the characters though.Alice was a sassy fierce southern-belle and the other woman in the story were just as great! Dare was the tall dark and handsome type and had a great sense of humor.

Overall I still think I need some time to process and figure out how I really feel. I think I need to pretend like isn’t labeled as an Alice reimagining because that really has me caught up. It was a fun , short story with entertaining characters and of course the steamy moments.

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee | Book Review

THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR BY KATHARINE MCGEE

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia

“I believe in happiness. I’m just not sure love will actually get you there.”
― Katharine McGee, The Thousandth Floor

Synopsis:
NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

Goodreads | Amazon


A Futuristic Manhattan Gossip Girl!
~Drama, Lies, Friendships, Secrets, Relationships~

I really had not heard much about this book except for when it first came out. I saw it at my library as an audiobook and thought I would give it a try. I was extremely happy that I did. This book was no mean perfect, it had its flaws but overall it was fun and delivered on what it was. I struggled with a rating because there were areas in which I wanted more, but I decided that I really enjoyed the read, it surprised me and had a lot going on that I definitely thought it could earn the 5 stars from me.

If you have ever watched/read Gossip Girl you will definitely notice some parallels with some of the characters, but don’t let that deter you because it is completely its own story with some awesome futuristic creations and a mystery that the whole books lead up to solving.

The book starts off with an event that happened with little detail and has you trying to figure out the whole time who it was and what happened. It is told in multiple POV and had tons of drama, lies, secrets and intrigue that keep me flying through the story. So much was going on with all of the characters that had that guilty indulgent pull of needing to know more and had me lapping up all of the drama going on. On top of the dramatic pull there was the layer of science fiction. This is one area that I would have loved more on, but it was not needed for the overall story. The concept of this futuristic Manhattan and all the cool innovations that are in this world definitely added to the story. I really enjoyed the idea of how the tower works and thought it very well described the way our society would look like in this setting. The mode of transportation was definitely my favorite, especially the transatlantic.

The cast of characters were all diverse and each had their flaws. No one is safe from secrets and lies, but it was true to the way people that age act. And although there was not a lot of parental presences, I enjoyed that they were there and that it wasn’t like much of futuristic/dystopian YA with all of the parents missing.

I do not want to go into much because I do not want to give anything away. But overall I really found this book to be a fun quick read that was full of surprises and had me trying to figure out the ending the whole way through. It is loaded with drama and has some really interesting innovations and science fiction add ons that make this a great thriller that can be enjoyed by a variety of people. And even though the one mystery is solved at the end, the book definitely leads off with you needing more and wanting to know what comes of the event that takes place.

My biggest struggle with audiobook usually falls onto the narrator. I really enjoyed Phoebe Strole. She had a narration style that did not bore me to pieces or annoy the crap out of me. She did not try and change her voice to sound like a male (which is my biggest pet peeve with narrators). I would definitely listen to other books she narrated!

 

Dear Martin by Nic Stone | Book Review

DEAR MARTIN BY NIC STONE

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

“You can’t change how other people think and act, but you’re in full control of you.”
Nic Stone, Dear Martin

Synopsis:
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I am going to try and make this short and not go off into any discussions because I don’t have any intention in starting something or offend anyone because I know this book and the content is a hot topic. Being a white female I have no experience to even begin to have an understanding of what it is like to be a black male. Nic Stone created a story that allowed me to have a little more insight into what they face and their thoughts/feelings. I think it is very important, with all of the incidents and events that have been taking place in our country in the last few years, to educate and create those areas for dialog. The things that happen in Dear Martin are so real and so relevant to what is actually happening in society. It saddens me to all of the police brutality and the things that are taking place. I was in Baltimore during the riots after what had happened to Freddie Gray and that was really my first introduction to all that was going on. That is why a book like Dear Martin is so important for everyone to read and especially to be introduced to the younger generations. The topics of race and equality cause a lot of disagreements and is such a “taboo” thing to talk about. Even in the book Stone has the group of kids address these topics and much like how the conversation went in the class, that is how it is happening in our society. Although I will still never know what it is like to be in Justyce’s shoes, I thought Stone did an amazing job in really describing Justyce’s emotions, thoughts and feelings. I think this is how changes begin to be made, if someone has never gone through something, or something doesn’t happen directly to them they sometimes don’t pay attention to what else is going on to other. I was able to gain some more knowledge and insight that I greatly appreciate Stone sharing through the voice of Justyce. ( I hope this comes out right,I had a hard time trying to put my thoughts into words.)

Now onto the rest of the book. I have to say this is one of the first books I have read that is from a young mans point of view that shows them being so much more than the brooding/bad boy/ love interest. Justyce showed vulnerability and was so real. He had his flaws, but he had to deal with some real life situations and really thought about his actions. Obviously there were some problematic situations that took place and it was interesting to see how those different situations were handled by Justyce and what he shared with Martin. I really enjoyed that there were some great adults present and loved the role they played in the overall story. I did have a couple issues with the format in which parts of the book were told (I listened to the audiobook so that might be the reason) I also felt like it was too fast, there were some areas that could have been more developed.

Overall I found this to be an extremely moving book. It was a story filled with real life, relationships, hard topics and deep raw emotion. I thought Justyce was an amazing character and really enjoyed his development and his thoughts and sharing with Martin. He came to some conclusions and learned a lot. I flew through this book and did not walk away with dry eyes. This was a real, honest and thought provoking book.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake | Book Review

ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD BY KENDARE BLAKE

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Series: Anna Duology
Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)

“I’ve seen most of what
there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth,
the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the
light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget
are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination.
Imagination has a poor memory; it       slinks away and goes
blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”
― Kendare Blake, Anna Dressed in Blood

Synopsis:
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

Goodreads | Amazon 

So I am trying to go back through some of the books I have read and write reviews, I read this back in Oct. and figured it was time.

Kendare Blake managed to write a unique story that was dark and gory, but yet still had me rooting for character you shouldn’t. I enjoyed that this books has unexpected twists and had some deeper and more moving moments. ‘

This was my first time reading a book with a ghost that was done well. Blake did not sugar coat the death and horror. It had me yelled at the book like I do when I watch horror movies. It was so interesting to learn about Cas’s back story and the world of hunting that he lives in. I would have loved to learn more because it was fun to learn about different ghost he had hunted. I did think the way the book began was absolutely perfect and really set the stage for the rest of the book.

Cas was a very likable character and much like any cocky teenage boy. He is the lonely boy that rides into a different town all the time and sometimes makes some silly decisions. Cas’s mom was my favorite character, she was that kooky witchy type. Then of course there is Anna, who is the ghost that Cas heads into Thunder Bay to kill, only it would not be that easy for him. I thought her story really made this book, she is such a complex character and one you cant help, but cheer for.

Overall this book was dark, gory but ultimate a phenomenal original story. It is the first real horror YA book I have read that I actually enjoyed. The atmosphere was perfect and definitely had that spooky, cabin in the middle of the woods vibe. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends! This  book is so suspenseful and pulls you right in, its such a quick read and I could not put it down. It completely surprised me and I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends. I am excited to see what happens in the following books.

End Of Year Book Survey | 2017 Edition


I saw this survey done by Jamie @Perpetual Page-Turner  and first participated in this in 2014 ! I had an okay year with reading, definitely not where I thought I would be but read some great books and planning for an awesome 2018! I would love to see your posts if you decide to participate! (all the graphics were taken from Jamie’s post @Perpetual Page-Turner)

Number Of Books You Read: 44
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: Paranormal Romance 
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1. Best Book You Read In 2017?
Picking 1 book is always so hard. I am going to say Haven by Mary Lindsay. There were lots that could have been in this spot and I have made a top books of 2017! I think I have to say Haven because it surprised me and was better than I expected and provided so much more than normal YA paranormal romances do.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I think the one that most fits this in Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2017?

The book that that was the most surprising read for me was Night Film by Marisha Pessl! I was not sure what to expect and had heard some good reviews but the incorporation of other media in the story and the overall feel was so good!

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2017?

I don’t really think I pushed any books on people this year.

5. Best series you started in 2017?Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

I started quite a few series this year but I think the best one, in my opinion was Moon Called by Patricia Briggs in the Mercy Thompson series.

I did not read many sequels or continuations this year, but I really enjoyed Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

I have to say it would be a tie between Cat Winters and Patricia Briggs!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I really want to get into more nonfiction and have been saying this forever, but the 2 books I read that were nonfiction this year were amazing! Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisis Coates and On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder . 

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I would have to say Dark Matter by Blake Crouch  had me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it!

9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Because it is so short and has such a good message/words I definitely will be reading On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder again!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

The character that my mind keeps going back to is from the first book I read this year, Alexia Tarabotti from Soulless by Gail Carriger. She was so feisty, sassy and a strong independent women that I cannot wait to dive into more of the parasol protectorate books in 2018!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

RoseBlood by A.G Howard .I absolutely adore the way in which A.G Howard writes! The story is so beautiful and so much life and description creating an atmosphere are put in the words.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

This is another book I would consider rereading, it really made me think and is relevant to our society today, Anthem by Ayn Rand.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, I have a feeling I am really going to love the Mercy Thompson Universe!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
Mary Lindsey, Haven

“I need to know why I’m so broken, so I can fix myself. One way or another. Maybe this place can help me do that, and then I can finally look forward to my future. Because I’m starting to realize there’s something worse than stepping up and facing your fears – and that’s living as if you’re already dead.”
A.G. Howard, RoseBlood

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest: Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs

Longest: Night Film by Marish Pessl

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

I have to say that their were a few books that had some shockers, I have to say one of the stranger ones was Yesternight by Cat Winters. I was not really expecting it and I think that was why I have to say it is the one that shocked me the most.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Willowdean and Bo from Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Oz, Chevy and Razor from the Thunder Roads series by Katie McGarry.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys 

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

Wow this is hard to pick just one so I am not going to. Freddie Burkhart  from Haven by Mary Lindsay, Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and the boys from the Thunder Roads series by Katie McGarry!

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

(I am pretty sure this was a debut) The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy 

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. At times it was a little hard to follow but it was so descriptive and so much going on in a world completely different than anything I have read. 

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Adulthood Is A Myth by Sarah Andersen. I was laughing the whole time and it was so relatable.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I read this as I was going through some things in my personal life and I was definitely crying at some parts.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy . This was one I stumbled upon and has not gotten much notice this year but was really good! 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I cannot think of any book that crushed my soul, I am currently reading The Book Thief and I have a feeling that this book will probably be the one to crush my soul.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. This book was so different than anything I have ever read, so definitely unique to me.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

There are too many to pick just one! I am going to be doing a separate post about this.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

I am still working on getting better at reviews. I always read others and get so jealous that they are able to put into words what I was feeling/thinking so much better than myself. I really did like my Gillian Flynn| Author Exploration

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Well my most viewed discussion/non-review was 8th Annual #TBTBSanta. I really want to start doing more discussion posts in 2018.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Well in the book community I really loved participating in #otspsecretsister and #tbtbsanta but blogwise, I really enjoyed participating in the  House Cup Reading Challenge .

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

The outpouring of support from the bookish community after all of the different things that happened in my life this year. I was feeling pretty alone and like I had no one to turn to, but those people in the online book community proved that even though we have never met each other in real life they would be there for me and help to cheer me up and cheer me on!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Swag Inspired by A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My Books Best Friend | Bookmark & Candle Edition

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I discovered a lot of different bookish things this year! I started participating in #otspsecretsister , which has been so much fun and I love the community. I also stumbled upon many different etsy shops that sell bookish goodies. One of my new favorite candle shops Dio Candle Co. you can check out my first box from them here!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I fell short on all of my goals, but I had a lot going on this year and I am just proud of myself of those things that I have accomplished and the progress I made. 2018 is going to be a better year.

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett. I think this was on my tbr probably like every month. I need to get to it ASAP so I can submit the review to the company I received it from, plus I enjoyed the first book in this series so much.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

When The Light Left Us by Leah Thomas 

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian 

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Complete some series and books that have been sitting on my shelf forever! #beatthebacklist

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

I have only read one 2018 release so far and it was By A Charm And A Curse by Jamie Questell. 

Haven by Mary Lindsey | Book Review

HAVEN BY MARY LINDSEY

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Publication Date: Nov. 7th 2017

“We all hold a monster inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
― Mary Lindsey, Haven

Synopsis:
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Goodreads | Amazon 

 *I would like to thank Entangled Publishing greatly for the amazing package they sent me and for the opportunity to read this book!*

A small town, an outsider and a secret that could get one killed.

This unique dark paranormal read brought to light a gender role reversal spin to the Beauty and the Beast story. I am not quite sure if this book had any inspiration from the B&B story, but there were some parallels and loosely based similarities. I was completely blown away with this story and quickly flew through it! It was layered with an air of mystery and full of secrets, some of which could be deadly.

I think Lindsey did an amazing job with the character development. All of the characters had unique personalities and really added to the overall story. With the introduction of some paranormal elements, I felt like the world building and fleshing out the overall aspects of what was going on in this town were just quickly covered. I wanted more explanation and to learn more about the background and history of what was taking place in New Wurzburg. It was definitely driven by wanting to know the fate of the characters.

Although most times I am not such a huge fan of romance and try to stay away from it, with the dark secrets and weird occurrences in this little creepy town it happened to work well for me. The relationship between Rain and Freddie was one I was rooting for from the beginning. Coming from a rough past, I wanted to see it all work out for Rain, but that is easier said then done. Freddie was the perfect female lead. She was feisty and strongly independent! Freddie did not let herself get placed into the confounds of the role of a female and proved that she is quite a badass. She has quickly become one of my female crushes and on my list of kickass fictional females. The rest of the cast of characters added to the overall story and had each of their own unique qualities that contributed to the feel and creepiness that carried the book. I had a deep love for Petra and her quirkiness!

I enjoyed the paranormal elements of this book a lot and really enjoyed what Lindsey created with these two groups that live in this town. The different abilities and powers were so intriguing and the kookiness and quirks of the characters was a lot of fun. I definitely loved the horror movie feel even though this is not a horror novel. It reminded me of the beginning of those horror movies when the characters role into this small town on the way to their destination because they needed gas or got lost. They soon find the town is strange and has a secret that everyone is in on but you. That was very much how it was when Rain rolled into New Wurzburg, the outsider to a town with its own things to hide!

The almost 400 page book just seemed to go way too fast. I felt like a lot more could have been fleshed out and explanation on certain aspects done. The end of the book finished too quickly for my liking. I had about 70 pages left and there was still so much that need to be solved and figured out. Lindsey tied up the lose ends and answered the questions I had while ending the book with a real ending, but it was too fast. Other than that the rest of the pacing was pretty well done.

Overall I absolutely adored this story and need more. It has quickly moved up on my list of favorite books. It was much more than I expected from it. The mythology was unique and it added classic aspects with new and fun modern aspects. It had hints of older stories like Beauty and the Beast and Twilight, but the story was completely its own. It was filled with fun and quirky characters in a small and interesting town. It also had some pretty awesome quote worthy moments! I highly recommend this read if you enjoy paranormal elements, mystery or romance. It has a little bit of everything!

Reading Guide to the Halloween Season | Book Recommendations

The fall and Halloween are my absolute favorite! When it comes to reading, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it in the month of October. (In my opinion) The fall season has a certain atmosphere and I believe the month of October does as well. The month of October needs to be filled with spooky, creepy, thrillers with paranormal and the unusual. As I was developing my reading list for October I thought I would give some recommendations to others with those books I think are perfect for the month of October.

Ó  Asylum by Madeleine Roux 

This was a dark and creepy story.  And of course it is about an asylum so that is a creep factor within itself. The imagery is so well done I felt like I was thereIt has a dark ominous feel to it and the creepy pictures sprinkled throughout the book help to create that eerie atmosphere.

Ó Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 

This book is definitely peculiar. It also uses strange and creepy pictures to help tell the story. It is not dark or ominous, but very atmospheric and unique.

Ó Hexed by Michelle Krys

This was a campy story and more light hearted and fun than dark and ominous. I have to say I would categorize this more Charmed/Buffy the Vampire Slayer-esk. It was a fast-paced witchy novel filled with intrigue, mystery and humor.

Ó You by Caroline Kepnes 

This is written in second perspective from a stalkers perspective. I believe that is all I need to say.

 

Ó Odd & True by Cat Winters 

This story was absolutely marvelous and full of monstrous creatures. The two sisters grew up hearing stories about monsters and magic. It is a wonderful story about sisters and has a nice atmosphere.

Ó Black Birds of the Gallows by Meg Kassel 

A love story in the midst of mass chaos. A interesting and creative YA paranormal read that presents unique mythology and characters. It dove into the world of Harbingers of Death, beekeepers, and the hidden magic within.

Ó This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This was a dark YA with monsters, crime and murder. The atmosphere and overall feel was dark and ominous. It was also beautifully written.

What are some of your spooky/creepy reads?